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Old 11-19-2002, 04:09 AM   #51
creinig
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However, to ensure we actually learn something and don't always get injured, we train in a repetitive and cooperative way.
Quote:
I (personally) feel that I have to try a technique many times in a sparring situation before I will feel comfortable with it.
I for one would never do "Aikido sparring" with you unless I know that you have already some years of cooperative Aikido training under your belt.

The problem is that unless you learned the proper sensitivity for your partner in cooperative training, you're very likely accidentally injure him when tempers go hot, when under pressure etc.

Just yesterday I was training shihonage with a friend (he's been doing Aikido for 6 months, I'm in for one year now), and *twice* he almost broke my arm without noticing.

As this was in cooperative training, I could yell at him before anything serious happened. In a "sparring setting", well, bad luck...

A punching/kicking martial artist can give me bruises, make me bleed and eventually break my nose or so during sparring - and protective padding helps rather well against all this. An Aikidoka can rather easily break my arms/legs/shoulders/hips, snap my neck or crack my skull - and this can happen accidentally unless he knows both how to execute the techniques peoperly and how to have a "feel" for Uke.

Ukes should be re-usable ;-)
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Old 11-19-2002, 04:17 AM   #52
erikmenzel
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Quote:
Christian Reiniger (creinig) wrote:
Ukes should be re-usable ;-)
Yep,

and as Alan Ruddock sensei told us:"Be nice to your uke for he/she is going to have a turn at you next!".

Erik Jurrien Menzel
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Old 11-19-2002, 05:38 AM   #53
andrew
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Re: I don't get aikido training method.

Quote:
Ron Marshall (ronmar) wrote:
How can aikido training be complete when there is no stress in the training. People say that you fight how you train, and there is plenty of stress and tiring activity in a fight. Aikido people never test themselves in competition or otherwise so how can they be sure that what they are doing is worthwhile?
Try reading either of these, they should help answer your question.

http://gargas.biomedicale.univ-paris.../sncemeng.html

http://gargas.biomedicale.univ-paris...ts/ukemi1.html

andrew
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Old 11-19-2002, 06:58 AM   #54
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Christian,
Quote:
I for one would never do "Aikido sparring" with you unless I know that you have already some years of cooperative Aikido training under your belt. ... Ukes should be re-usable
Jigoro Kano on randori:

"The main conditions in randori are that participants take care not to injure each other, and that they follow judo etiquette, which is mandatory if one is to derive the maximum benefit from randori. Randori may be practiced either as training in the methods of attack and defense, or as physical education. In either case, all movements are made in conformity with the principle of maximum efficiency. If training in attack and defense is the objective, concentration on the proper execution of techniques is sufficient. But beyond that, randori is ideal for physical culture since it involved all parts of the body and, unlike gymnastics, all its movements are purposeful and executed with spirit. The objective of this training is to perfect control over mind and body and to prepare a person to meet any emergency or attack, accidental or intentional."

Draeger on randori:

"The main conditions in randori are that participants take care not to injure each other, and that they follow judo etiquette, which is mandatory if one is to derive the maximum benefit from randori. Randori may be practiced either as training in the methods of attack and defense, or as physical education. In either case, all movements are made in conformity with the principle of maximum efficiency. If training in attack and defense is the objective, concentration on the proper execution of techniques is sufficient. But beyond that, randori is ideal for physical culture since it involved all parts of the body and, unlike gymnastics, all its movements are purposeful and executed with spirit. The objective of this training is to perfect control over mind and body and to prepare a person to meet any emergency or attack, accidental or intentional."

In other words, if people are getting injuried during randori, then just like training, something is wrong.

Regards,

Paul
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Old 11-19-2002, 08:06 AM   #55
Irony
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Ron, I think the best testimonial anyone can give is to look at any yudansha. Aikido training technique has worked well for them. As for just trying to take aikido moves and integrate them into your other style, I think you'll have a hard time. For aikido (what I view as aikido anyway) the mindset is going to be totally different. IMHO, taking a dangerous move out of the protective context of aikido is both difficult and misusing. You say you don't have a lifetime to train... well, I'm sorry, but aikido takes a lifetime.

Last edited by Irony : 11-19-2002 at 08:09 AM.

Chris Pasley
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Old 11-19-2002, 08:27 AM   #56
creinig
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Me:
Quote:
I for one would never do "Aikido sparring" with you unless I know that you have already some years of cooperative Aikido training under your belt. ... Ukes should be re-usable
Paul:
Quote:
In other words, if people are getting injuried during randori, then just like training, something is wrong.
Don't quote me out of context

I completely agree with you, but you're missing my point. I wrote the above as response to this:
Quote:
I (personally) feel that I have to try a technique many times in a sparring situation before I will feel comfortable with it.
My point was that you can not safely try most Aikido techniques in a sparring situation unless you already got a good feel for both the technique and for your uke in cooperative, "slow" training. Would you tell beginners "ok, so you've seen iriminage, now let's test it in a randori session" (emphasis on "beginners")?
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Old 11-19-2002, 09:22 AM   #57
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Christian,
Quote:
Would you tell beginners "ok, so you've seen iriminage, now let's test it in a randori session" (emphasis on "beginners")?
Yes. Absolutely.

We roll in bjj after the first class. My first judo class ended with randori. No injuries, no problems, no worries.

Randori does not mean "beat the stuffing out of each other". The main conditions in randori are that participants take care not to injure each other, and that they follow judo etiquette, which is mandatory if one is to derive the maximum benefit from randori. Kano, previously quoted.

Regards,

Paul
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Old 11-19-2002, 10:18 AM   #58
Alfonso
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don't confuse us any more. most people posting here seem to be novices, people in the first period of their training.

do other martial arts train differently? Yes.

are they effective? Yes.

are they aikido? No.

is their stated purpose to reach as many people as possible (the world) and be available to old men, women, children, sick and disabled people? I think not.

Aikido can offer that as well. It's not solely a martial art, it's also something more, a training in cooperation, connection and compassion.

as well, it is a martial art. And it contains Kata practice that must be transcended, it contains freestyle practice that will teach application of principles learned in Kata.

can it be improved with modern ideas? I would assume so, why not?

But think of the people who have been able to find in Aikido a practice that has been of value, that has in many cases saved their lives, and given meaning to lives thought lost. Even at ages where by all "modern" concepts you should be relegated to the sidelines to watch.

And go , test and feel the tecnique of those who have spent their lives training in it. You should be able to tell if its all crap no?
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Old 11-19-2002, 01:37 PM   #59
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I for one would never do "Aikido sparring" with you unless I know that you have already some years of cooperative Aikido training under your belt.
I've had lots of other training, much of which is transferrable to aikido. Is aikido so much more dangerous than other martial arts that randori is impossible? Is it not possible for aikido experts to go easy in a randori situation, if needs be, without patronising and humiliating those they are training with? Its possible in boxing, judo, wrestling and other fighting arts, so why not aikido.

I guess most of you probably haven't trained in a randori style format too much. Those that have (eg Paul Watt, Aleksey Sundeyev, Peter Rehse, and others) recognise that this could be possible in aikido, whether they agree that it should be done or not.
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Old 11-19-2002, 01:53 PM   #60
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Quote:
Ron Marshall (ronmar) wrote:
I guess most of you probably haven't trained in a randori style format too much. Those that have (eg Paul Watt, Aleksey Sundeyev, Peter Rehse, and others) recognise that this could be possible in aikido, whether they agree that it should be done or not.
Ron, I haven't trained in a randori style.

I've only been in a few scuffles, a few "simulated self defense scenarios", and a couple of "wannabe boxing in backyard with buddy" encounters.

On a separate note, I think many of your inquiries of Aikido will solve themselves in your mind if you give it a year, assuming you're not in an extremely off-the-wall dojo.

Last edited by shihonage : 11-19-2002 at 01:56 PM.
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Old 11-19-2002, 02:06 PM   #61
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Ron, I haven't trained in a randori style.
I appologise for accusing you, you sound like you might have. At least your a realist.
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Old 11-19-2002, 03:07 PM   #62
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Randori practice, as such, is very possible in this art. I spent a fair amount of time in a place that uses randori almost exclusively as it's base of practice and did so immediately. The idea that you can't do this in Aikido because it's TOO dangerous is wrong.

How did you work with a beginner for instance? Simple, you didn't throw them in dangerous ways and went slow with them. Basically beginners were full-on blending practice in a moderately controlled way. As they became more advanced the practice evolved into whatever it evolved into. More than a few times, with the right partners I'd wind up wrestling on the mat. I've even tackled the sensei when called up to uke.

Paul is exactly right.

A couple of notes. I personally don't subscribe to the above approach. I think there needs to be a structural base, particularly for raw recruits. Without one they pick up as many bad habits as good habits. I don't, however, subscribe to the idea that it takes years to achieve. If it takes years to get there (and I'm thinking a decade or so as some do it) my belief is that moving to this flowing practice will be very difficult at best. I honestly think it's almost impossible at that point but recognize there are exceptions.

Second, the dojo mentioned above was definitely taking a more spiritual (whatever that means) approach. This was actually a source of frustration for me as there were really only a couple of people interested in playing more physically. Still, randori is very doable and I've done plenty of it. For what it's worth, I've been bashed both in structured and unstructured environments too.
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Old 11-19-2002, 03:17 PM   #63
creinig
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Quote:
Is it not possible for aikido experts to go easy in a randori situation, if needs be, without patronising and humiliating those they are training with?
Ok, I guess it's apologizing time. Somehow my brain seems to have completely ignored the fact that it's also entirely possible to do randori / to spar with an experienced partner . So - please ignore my posts for the situation where at least one randori partner is experienced (as in, say, 4+ years of training). For the "beginner beating the crap out of another beginner" they still hold though

Sorry for the misunderstanding.

PS: please experiment with cooperative training as well - I'm sure you can get very much out of it too.
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Old 11-19-2002, 03:31 PM   #64
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Hi Ron, everyone else,

Couple of questions for you.

Do you think, at this point in your life and experience in the martial arts, that you would be willing to accept aikido's training methods as valid?

If you aren't willing, do you think your opinions on aikido's training methods would change if you got to feel, for yourself, some more experienced people in the art who learned and/or teach aikido through those very same training methods?

Frankly, I think it's healthy to think about things like training methods. I sure have...

-- Jun

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Old 11-19-2002, 06:09 PM   #65
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Hi guys;

In the Shodokan university system there are definate programs to get you doing full blown randori within two years. Honbu, being made up of a wider range of students, doesn't have the same emphasis but you can be doing it pretty quick if thats your inclination.

The secret is graduated randori, coupled with kata and drills. At each stage of randori it is made very clear what can and can not be done. In that context even your first class you could be doing tanto taisabaki (the lowest level). This by the way is a great exercise. Take a rubber knife (or failing that pipe insulation wrapped with masking tape). Uke has 30 seconds or five attempts to connect to tori's chest with a straight thrust. Tori's only function is to get out of the way using only body movement and light blocking with his hands. Want to up the aerobic content of your training - this is a good way.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 11-19-2002, 08:05 PM   #66
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ok, I'l bite

Jun,
Quote:
Do you think, at this point in your life and experience in the martial arts, that you would be willing to accept aikido's training methods as valid?
Valid for what? A knife is a perfectly valid tool, but not a good method of transportation. A bike a great tool to use to get from point A to point B, but I wouldn't use it to spread butter on my toast.

Even if a training method is valid, is it the most effecient?

There was a program on the discovery channel about traditional chinese martial arts. It started with some shaolin temple training and ended with san shou fighter Cung Le. The techniques were the same. The shaolin temple people punched, kicked and threw just like Cung Le (and vice versa). But the training methods were vastly different.

No one can question Cung Le's success as a fighter or as a trainer of fighters. But one could argue that he's not preserving the traditions of the chinese martial arts as completely as the shaolin temple folks are. But then shaolin temple approach isn't going to produce a world class fighter as quickly as Cung Le will (if at all).

This thread:

Ron has specific goals from aikido and in my mind legitimate doubts that the training method in the dojo he's in will help him reach those goals.

Different people have different goals from aikido (or martial arts in general). Some of us have probably changed our goals over the years. I'm willing to bet if Ron had said that he wanted a more spiritual outlook from aikido this thread wouldn't have made it past a page and people would have recommended books, videos or other schools and wished him well. Instead, because he has the audacity to expect a martial art to be, well, martial, he just doesn't get it?

If I tell you that I've got the "one, true, unstoppable method of self-defense" and it's available to you in 5 lessons, I don't think you're disrespectful if you ask me for some type of proof. I also don't think you're disrespectful if you ask why it can't be taught in 3 lessons.

Dynamic training:

The Shodokan folks randori without any significant differences in injuries than other styles of aikido that don't randori (Peter, please correct me if I'm wrong). Randori can be done. It is done, even in aikido.

Regards,

Paul
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Old 11-19-2002, 08:18 PM   #67
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Re: ok, I'l bite

Quote:
paul watt (paw) wrote:
The Shodokan folks randori without any significant differences in injuries than other styles of aikido that don't randori (Peter, please correct me if I'm wrong). Randori can be done. It is done, even in aikido.
Perhaps even less. Based on what I've seen, heard and read (Aikido Journal has an article written by Shishida Shihan which is worth a read) the serious injuries are obtained not in randori but in uncontrolled waza execution. By uncontrolled I mean both accidents and the repeditive shihonages that occur in some university clubs in Japan. Schools which base their training on precise kata have by nature, less of these injuries. Schools which have randori as an outlet often avoid the rampant egos which can lead to abuse and injuries.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 11-20-2002, 03:04 AM   #68
mle
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Re: Kata V Waza

Quote:
Peter Rehse (PeterR) wrote:
*snip*. Schools which base their training on precise kata have by nature, less of these injuries. Schools which have randori as an outlet often avoid the rampant egos which can lead to abuse and injuries.
Having cross-trained a bit over a spectrum of aikido styles (and I recommend that to everyone for perspective) I have to say that I tend to enjoy those with more "interactivity".

I also find the practicioners more realistic, effective, and softer. And yeah, jiyuwaza or randori will keep a rampant ego in check.

It wasn't so much in my curriculum, but my fave instructor was a judo guy so it sort of naturally worked its way into my training.

I found it very helpful and, with an experienced and well-intentioned practicioner, very educational. And darn fun!

mle

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Old 11-20-2002, 07:40 PM   #69
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Re: ok, I'l bite

Hi Paul,
Quote:
paul watt (paw) wrote:
Valid for what?
Good question. From what I've read, I'm guessing that Ron is talking about the age-old question of "martial effectiveness."
Quote:
Ron has specific goals from aikido and in my mind legitimate doubts that the training method in the dojo he's in will help him reach those goals.
I agree -- his doubts are perfectly legitimate.

My questions above were more aimed at whether Ron is willing to change his thoughts about aikido's training methods or if he's on a one-track mission to "prove" aikido's training methods wrong...

Personally, I think that the training method as used in aikido does work as far as it producing martially effective people. Of course, that doesn't mean it can't stand a bit of self reflection nor changes.

To close, I'd like to quote Karl Friday from his book, "Legacies of the Sword" where he talks about his thoughts on the different training methods of sparring and kata:
Quote:
Karl Friday wrote:
Proponents of sparring and the competitions that developed concomitantly argued that pattern practice alone cannot develop the seriousness of purpose, the courage, decisiveness, aggressiveness, and forbearance vital to true mastery of combat. Such skills, they said, can be fostered only by contesting with an equally serious opponent, not by dancing through kata. Pattern practice, moreover, forces students to pull their blows and slow them down, so they never develop their speed and striking power. Competition, it was argued, is also needed to teach students how to read and respond to an opponent who is actually trying to strike them.

Kata purists, on the other hand, retorted that competitive sparring does not produce the same state of mind as real combat and is not, therefore, any more realistic a method of training than pattern practice. Sparring also inevitably requires rules and modifications of equipment that move trainees even further away from the conditions of duels and/or the battlefield. Moreover, sparring distracts students from the mastery of the kata and encourages them to develop their own moves and techniques before they have fully absorbed those of the ryuha.

The controversy persists today, with little foreseeable prospect of resolution. It is important for our purposes here to note that it represents a divergence in philosophy that transcends the label of "traditionalists versus reformers" sometimes applied to it. In the first place, the conflict is nearly 300 years old, and the "traditionalist" position only antedates the "reformist" one by a few decades. In the second, advocates of sparring maintain that their methodology is actually closer to that employed in Sengoku and early Tokugawa times than is kata-only training. And in the third place, modern cognate martial arts schools -- the true reformists -- are divided over this issue: Judo relies exclusively on sparring to evaluate students, while aikido tests only by means of kata, and kendo uses a combination of kata and sparring in its examinations.

In any event, one must be careful not to make too much of the quarrels surrounding pattern practice, for the disagreements are disputes of degree, not essence. All of the traditional ryuha that survive today utilize kata as their central form of training. None has abandoned it or subordinated it to other teaching techniques.
Phew. That was longer than I thought, but I think it contains a lot of good thoughts on this subject. He devotes an entire section on "kata and pattern practice" (pp 102-119) which is too long to repeat here but recommended for people interested in why many koryu arts including Kashima Shinryu (which the book is about) rely heavily and sometimes even solely upon kata training.

-- Jun

PS: Diane Skoss also has a good piece on kata training on this very site here.

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Old 11-20-2002, 08:45 PM   #70
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Jun,

Let's trade homework assignments then. Kali - Aliveness and dead patterns is a thread that discusses this very issue.

Regards,

Paul
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Old 11-20-2002, 08:56 PM   #71
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Hi Paul,

Thanks for the link! It looks rather interesting. I'll see if I can read it over (although at 24 pages, it's quite long!).

-- Jun

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Old 11-21-2002, 02:02 AM   #72
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Quote:
Peter Rehse (PeterR) wrote:
In that context even your first class you could be doing tanto taisabaki (the lowest level). This by the way is a great exercise. Take a rubber knife (or failing that pipe insulation wrapped with masking tape). Uke has 30 seconds or five attempts to connect to tori's chest with a straight thrust. Tori's only function is to get out of the way using only body movement and light blocking with his hands.
Jun, in regards to your question the above illustrates much that frustrates me about what I see and often participate in. Peter describes something that operates outside of rigid context. For instance, when I discover that a thrust doesn't work, I might try spinning or changing hands. Once something begins to work I'll repeat it until it doesn't work anymore as my opponent learned how to respond to it. Then when that doesn't work I evolve again. This type of practice provides a vital, dynamic and evolving process which is often lacking in Aikido practice. If you add into that a structured teaching plan which taught someone optimal ways to strike or defend you have a strong fundamental base with a system allowing for dynamic growth and learning.

For me at least, this is much of what I see missing within normal Aikido practice. On second thought, I'd say it's there but extremely minimized.

One more thought.

Everytime the issue of randori comes up, someone chimes in with "IT'S TOO DANGEROUS! We can't practice Aikido outside of controlled parameters." So riddle me this, isn't Aikido the art of harmonious reconciliation to conflict? If so, and we can't safely find ways to execute our techniques on mats, with people who know how to fall, outside of controlled paramaters, then how the heck are we going to do it outside of the dojo where it's all outside of controlled parameters?
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Old 11-21-2002, 08:48 AM   #73
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Hi Erik,

I agree in the fact that many people do not engage in "dynamic" aikido practice -- meaning that it seems many are content to repeat techniques in a, say, 4th kyu fashion for 20 years.

My teacher often tells his students during his regular classes to not do the same exact technique twice but to do, say, four different variations on the same theme. Sure, they may all be katatedori shihonage, but make them different. As such, I'll very often give slightly different attacks as uke in respect to timing, intent, and so on. This is still within the context of "kata" training in my mind and, to my understanding, happens in the context of such in koryu arts as well.

Relatedly, it often amuses me to see people in aikido tests being able to successfully do the technique that's been called every single time -- even if the technique were not appropriate for that attack. I hardly see people just avoiding the attack if that's all they could do.

I also agree that the "aikido is too dangerous to be used against people who are resisting" argument is flawed as other martial arts like judo and jujutsu work against people who are actively resisting. The auxiliary argument of, "but martial art XYZ is a 'sports' martial art and has rules" doesn't really do too well in my eyes as aikido practice has many, many rules as well...

As Ushiro sensei at the Aiki Expo said, his wish was that if people in aikido learned more "effective" ways of attacking as uke that the whole art would benefit. I can't agree more...

-- Jun

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Old 11-21-2002, 09:42 AM   #74
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Quote:
paul watt (paw) wrote:
Kali - Aliveness and dead patterns is a thread that discusses this very issue.
Coming from the FMA (Lucaylucay Kali/JKD)I felt the "dead patterns" were a great way to learn the basic flows and angles of attack. Labeling them as "dead" let you know there was something more "alive" coming. I know we all tend to be attached to a specific training method. But, IMHO, there are many ways to the same goal. I have practiced my Aikido against some other arts, and found the Aikido training method very effective. It was just different than what I had done before. I too had troubles accepting it at first.

Until again,

Lynn

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 11-21-2002, 10:12 AM   #75
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Lynn,

Did you read the thread? Because....

Other people made the same statements you just did and ... the thread is still ongoing.

Regards,

Paul
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